What is Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD)? - Can It Cause Flat Feet? Will Orthotic Insoles Help?

Woman grabbing ankle with ankle pain while on hiking trail

Did you know that up to 26 percent of the population will suffer from Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD) at some point in their lives? PTTD is a leading cause of flat feet and can lead to a number of other problems. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help improve symptoms. These treatments include devices like custom orthotic insoles or insoles for flat feet. Orthotics and insoles are helpful for supporting the posterior tibial tendon and reducing stress on the foot. If you are experiencing symptoms related to PTTD, PowerStep can help decrease your pain. Read on to learn more about tibial tendon dysfunction, its association with flatfoot dysfunction, and how PowerStep can help you! 

PTTD and How It Can Cause Flat Feet?

The posterior tibial tendon (PTT) origin is in the upper calf muscles and runs down your lower leg, behind the inside of your ankle and attaches to the bones in the bottom of your foot. It spans the inner side of the ankle during its course. It is the primary ligament that supports and maintains the medial arch of the foot. Strain on this tendon over time or a tear in this tendon is one of the culprits causing arch dysfunction and pain; resulting in a flat arch. As in most cases of tendon injuries, the damage to the posterior tibial tendon starts with overuse. The symptoms of PTT dysfunction frequently appear after various activities like running, hiking, and exercise. 

Medical Illustration of Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction and Flat Foot

The posterior tibial tendon dysfunction leads to an inwardly bent ankle (or lower foot arch height). With time, the tendon gets weaker due to increasing pressure from the tilted ankle. Eventually, the tendon isn’t able to hold on to a perfect foot arch. Most people have mild symptoms of PTTD, including pain, swelling, and flattening of the foot's medial arch. 

When flattening of the feet occurs due to a PTT dysfunction, it is termed as acquired flatfoot. Generally, adults have one-sided (unilateral) flatfoot, but it can occur on either side. Flatfoot itself brings about many problems like ankle twisting and sprains, knee sprains, and even knee (stress) fractures, and can lead to arthritis of the foot, ankle, or knee. 

Fortunately, flatfoot can be overcome by various techniques. For the majority of the population, non-surgical treatment options work well. Foot orthotics and insoles for flat feet are two great examples. These ad-on devices help stabilize your medial arch of the foot and support your ankles while you walk. They will help you regardless, especially if you are new to sports or outdoor activities or have a heavier build. Continued support through orthotics and insoles will encourage healing and strengthening of the posterior tibial tendon, leading to a properly arched foot. In severe cases, surgical options might be explored. 

PowerStep Orthotics a Solution For Flat Feet 

The PowerStep orthotics for flatfoot and insoles for flatfoot are great for you if you experience flattening of your foot. These devices can help prevent posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), which will help prevent flatfoot. With PowerStep orthotics, running, lifting, and hiking is no problem at all.